FBI says Cheney told Libby about Plame

An FBI agent Thursday testified that former Vice Presidental chief of staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby learned the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame from Vice President Dick Cheney.

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After a long day or legal wrangling and no witnesses, an FBI agent took the stand shortly before 3 p.m. She is Deborah Bond, a 19-year veteran, called into the probe of who may have leaked name of classified agent.

She described the bureau’s interview with I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby on Oct. 14, 2003. Asked where he first learned of Ambassador Joe Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, he had told the FBI then — from the vice president, on or about June 12 that year, in a telephone conversation.

Vice President Cheney had also said that she worked in “CP” or counter-proliferation at the agency. How did Cheney know this? From someone at the CIA — possibly director George Tenet, but Libby wasn’t sure.

How to explain Libby originally claiming he had first heard about Wilson’s wife from NBC’s Tim Russert in July? He had simply forgotten he had actually heard it from the vice president a month or more earlier, Libby said. But Libby’s notes, produced by prosecutors during this testimony, did show notations from June 12 regarding Wilson’s wife. And Libby later confirmed this in a second FBI interview.

But he said it seemed like news to him — he’d forgotten all about it — when Russert asked him if he knew that Ambassador Wilson’s wife worked at the agency and, allegedly, other reporters knew this. Then Libby told other reporters who might not know about it, including Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post and NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.